H.S. FOOTBALL: Shippensburg rallies for 26-16 win over Bermudian Springs
SHIPPENSBURG >> It was a tale of two halves for the Shippensburg Greyhounds on Friday night at Memorial Park. The visiting Bermudian Springs Eagles entered the game 0-2, but surprisingly controlled the first half, jumping out to a 13-0 lead late into the second quarter.
But the Greyhounds scored 20 consecutive points in the third quarter to rally for a 26-16 victory.
Ship sprang to life just before halftime when two big pass plays to Wade Mills set up Shippensburg at the Eagles' 31-yard line. With 3:17 left, quarterback Tyler Gustafson found his younger brother Cody down the left sideline for a touchdown the Hounds desperately needed and the momentum began to shift Ship's way.
Bermudian Springs coach Jon DeFoe was pleased with his team's performance, especially their dominance at the line of scrimmage in the first half, but he knew Ship's passing game was solid.
"Their quarterback does a nice job and they have some good receivers," DeFoe said.
Ship got the ball to start the second half, but their first-half struggles continued. A busted play resulted in a lost fumble, but a huge stop by linebacker Cameron Tinner on third down kept the Eagles out of the end zone. They settled for a 33-yard field goal by Noah Aeppli, which gave Bermudian (0-3) a 16-6 lead early in the third quarter.
From that point on, the game belonged to the Greyhounds (2-1), who used a no-huddle offense to wear down the Eagles.
After a short kickoff, Gustafson began a drive near midfield and went to work with consecutive completions to Mills and Adam Houser, but an incompletion forced a crucial fourth-and-five. Gustafson found Cole Friese in the flat and he slipped by two Eagle defenders and fought for a drive-saving first down.
On third down, Gustafson threw a dart to Houser as he crossed the middle and the speedy freshman took it 34 yards for a score.
Houser said, "The first half didn't go well. We just had to pick it up, give it all you got, and get it back."
Greyhound coach Eric Foust said, "Houser's a pretty special athlete. His speeds makes a big difference," Foust said.
While Houser provided the lightning, Zion Ware was the thunder, with 92 hard-fought rushing yards in the second half. Ware slipped a tackle and bolted 39 yards to set up a first and goal for the Greyhounds. Ware got the call again and scampered four yards into the end zone to give Ship its first lead of the game.
Ware said, "We started out flat. I just tried to be patient, wait for the holes to open up and get through them."
In a matter of 20 seconds, Ship had the ball again when Mills recovered a Bermudian fumble. After a penalty got Ship into enemy territory, Gustafson immediately found Friese open in the secondary and he took it 34 yards into the red zone. Tyler Gustafson finished the Ship comeback with a 6-yard quarterback keeper.
Bermudian mounted two decent drives in the final quarter but each time was halted by the Greyhound defense. Pressure by lineman Kyle Yost forced Eagle quarterback Tristan Hoke into a bad pass that was picked off by Friese, and defensive back Dan Lauffer broke up a long pass attempt on third down.
Foust said, "We did a lot of things wrong, but we recovered very well. I'm real proud of the effort the boys gave as the game went on."
Defoe said he can take a solid first half performance into next week, looking for the Eagles' first win.
"We know what we do works; it's worked for a long time. We have to execute better."
Shippensburg 26 Bermudian Springs 16
BS — Ethan Frank 25 pass from Tristan Hoke (kick failed)
BS — Ashton West 4 run (Noah Aeppli kick)
Sh — Cody Gustafson 31 pass from Tyler Gustafson (pass failed)
BS — Aeppli 33 field goal
Sh — Adam Houser 34 pass from T.Gustafson (pass failed)
Sh — Zion Ware 4 run (Jackson VanHorne kick)
Sh — T.Gustafson 2 run (VanHorne kick)
BermShipFirst downs1415Rushes-yards49-25035-122Passing4-20-116-29-0Passing yards62204Total yards312326Punts-avg.6-33.55-31Fumbles-lost1-13-3Penalties-yards6-613-20
Rushing — Berm, Ashton West 21-105, Devon Hodgen 16-94, Chase Dull 7-47, Tristan Hoke 5-4. Ship, Zion Ware 20-126, Adam Houser 4-21, Cole Friese 3-(-1), Tyler Gustafson 8-(-24).
Passing — Berm, Hoke 4-20-1-62. Ship, T.Gustafson 16-29-0-204.
Receiving — Berm, Ethan Frank 2-26, Dull 1-19, Quinton Nace 1-15. Ship, Wade 6-53, Adam Houser 4-48, Cody Gustafson 3-60, Cole Friese 3-43.